As negotiations continue for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, her supporters are organizing a walkout as a show of solidarity. Blasey Ford was initially ordered to testify before the committee on September 24 in a public session, but instead has agreed to testify on Thursday, September 26, the New York Times reports, following an hourlong negotiating session on Sunday. Blasey Ford had previously asked for time extensions in order to “reach [an] agreement on details,” reports NPR. On September 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley wrote in tweets that Blasey Ford’s ongoing negotiations are turning the proceedings into a “judiciary orchestra.” He curiously directed an apology towards Kavanaugh, a man accused of sexual assault, for the delay in a hearing and confirmation vote date.
Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018
With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018
Several groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign, are supporting a walkout at the moment of Blasey Ford’s originally scheduled hearing on Monday, September 24 at 1 p.m. ET. Supporters are encouraged to wear black and post photos and stories to their social media using the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors.
We believe Dr. Christie Blasey Ford & we stand with her. Kavanaugh should be disqualified from the Supreme Court—& the GOP must stop bullying her. Join us in solidarity by wearing black & walking out of work/school/home on Monday at 1 pm ET + posting a photo w/ #BelieveSurvivors. pic.twitter.com/asFyAHsLsS— NARAL (@NARAL) September 22, 2018
Celebs are getting on board with the protest, including Amy Schumer, who wrote, “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and will be taking part in a national moment of solidarity.” #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke is also lending her voice to the protest, and linked to the event’s Facebook page. Chelsea Handler, Paola Mendoza, Alyssa Milano, and Mariska Hargitay also voiced their support for Blasey Ford.
The New York Times reported that a possible witness for Blasey Ford’s account, Leland Keyser, is now denying having been present during the alleged assault. This leaves Blasey Ford with no witnesses to testify to in favor of her account as of press time.
In another turn of events, a press liaison for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Garrett Ventry, has resigned his position after an allegation of sexual harassment surfaced, reported NBC. Ventry has denied “allegations of misconduct” from his previous job in a statement. Grassley is expected to rule on Sunday about a potential final date for Blasey Ford’s hearing; he may also choose to proceed with the Kavanaugh confirmation vote on Monday as originally scheduled.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.